Gina Gambony

Host/Producer of Communique, Outreach, & Pinch-Hitter

Gina Gambony hosts and produces Communique, WHQR's weekday interview segment. Communique can be heard weekdays on 91.3 at 8:50am & 4:44pm and on 92.7 at Noon. Gina has been a member of WHQR since 1998 and began hosting Classical Music, Morning Edition, and All Things Considered  for the station in 2013.

Gina earned her B.A. with Honors in Philosophy & Religion after studying at University of North Carolina Wilmington and completing a year of advanced study at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Philosophy Institute (Belgium). She is also a certified English and Social Studies teacher for secondary students. Prior to working at WHQR, Gina spent her time primarily in the non-profit realm, including Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts (Director of Education & Outreach), UNCW Office of Cultural Arts (Director of House/Audience Services), Corvallis Arts Council (Teaching Artist & Arts Integration Specialist), and Dreams of Wilmington (Teaching Artist). She also taught for Cape Fear Community College, plus English and Drama in local middle schools. In 2010, she brought the first large-scale puppet festival to Wilmington as the Director of the Port City Puppet Festival, which earned the designation as the #1 Arts Event in 2010 by Wilmington Star News. Gina is a co-director and founder of Wilmington's first theatre company for people with developmental disabilities: Theatre for All! 

Gina has used her voice for commercials, cartoons, storytelling, puppetry, and theatrical productions since childhood. She's delighted to use the skills and experience acquired through her work in public service and the arts to be a part of the WHQR team. She won 2nd place in KCRW Santa Monica's International 24-Hour Radio Race in 2016 in her independent audio enterprise. You can listen to her winning piece here

Ways to Connect

capefearhabitat.org

Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity (CFHH) is celebrating 30 years and Executive Director Steve Spain is planning a celebration for the fall. But first, CFHH holds its annual signature breakfast fundraiser-the Golden Hammer Breakfast-this Tuesday morning, May 2, 7:30am-9:00am at the Wilmington Convention Center. The breakfast is free, but Steve Spain hopes to inspire everyone to donate to the cause. Listen above to hear Spain talk about the breakfast and his reason for believing so strongly in this work. Below is an extended interview transcript.   

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Friday, 4/28 is 4th Friday Gallery Walk in downtown Wilmington, which includes the closing reception for the exhibit Line & Paper in WHQR's MC Erny Gallery. Line & Paper features works by 2 artists: Lori Joy Peterson and Susan Dade, both inspired by fashion in their art. Peterson's first works were landscapes (plus kittens and puppies), but eventually her focus came to drawing and making collages of women, particularly high-fashion women. Dade had a long career as a fashion illustrator in New York, but she started painting more landscapes since retiring to North Carolina. Listen to them talk about their art above.

capefearchorale.org

This weekend, the Cape Fear Chorale presents Great Choruses from Masterworks, its spring concert featuring music from over 200 years of choral repertoire-from Haydn and Bach to Orff. Singers Gina Vanderwal (also a board member) and Kevin Ulisnik joined us in the studio; listen above to hear them talk about the music and the rehearsal process. This free concert is Saturday, 4/29 at 7:30pm and Sunday, 4/30 at 3:00pm at Winter Park Baptist Church.

Blockade Runner Resort

The U.S. Green Building Council is an organization committed to sustainable design, construction, and operation of structures. The Cape Fear Branch of the national organization holds its annual gathering this Friday, April 28 at the Blockade Runner in Wrightsville Beach, 11:30am-2:00pm. The theme this year is Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality: Balancing Economics & Ecosystems. We spoke with Dr. Hans Vogelsong, a scientist with the Institute for Coastal Science and Policy at ECU. Vogelsong is one of the keynote speakers for the event; he'll talk about Positive Economic Impact as an Ecosystem Service

Homes of Hope, India

 Paul Wilkes is a writer, philanthropist, and founder of Homes of Hope India, building orphanages, schools and medical facilities for abandoned and neglected girls. He's the author of 21 books, most recently Your Second to Last Chapter: Creating a Meaningful Life on Your Own Terms. Wilkes will speak about his successes and failures in finding meaning in his life Wednesday evening, 4/26, at St.

Jasper Quartet/Vanessa Briceno-Scherzer

Chamber Music Wilmington presents the Jasper String Quartet this Sunday, April 23 at 3:00pm at Beckwith Recital Hall. This award-winning quartet has been a fan of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis since they heard his music 7 years ago-specifically, a piece called "Musica Celestis," which is on the agenda for this afternoon performance. Listen to composer Kernis and Jasper Quartet violist Sam Quintal talk about this popular piece above. Segments of the 11-minute piece heard in the interview are from a recording by the Jasper Quartet.  

Thalian Association

Thalian Association Community Theatre is holding a benefit concert and silent auction this weekend: Divine Divas. Eleven songstresses will perform pieces from favorite musicals. Fifty percent of the proceeds benefit Thalian Association; the other half goes to an organization called She ROCKS in support of ovarian research and support (Research-Ovarian Cancer-Knowledge-Support). The show is onstage Friday & Saturday nights, April 21 & 22, at 7:30pm at Hannah Block Community Arts Center. Listen above to hear Executive Director Susan Habas and Artistic Director Chandler Davis talk about the show and items in the auction.

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The 4th Annual Wilmington Jewish Film Festival begins this Sunday, April 23. The films are screening at Thalian Hall's Mainstage. Listen above to hear Peggy Pancoe Rossoff & Debbie Smith talk about the festival and some of the films. Individual tickets and Festival Passes are available online and at the door. Here is the schedule:

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Madi Polera holds a Master's Degree in Marine Biology. For her, the DC-based March For Science is like a Lollapalooza for alternative music lovers. The main march is based in Washington, DC on April 22 (Earth Day), but over 500 satellite science celebrations are happening worldwide. Polera and two scientist friends decided to bring the event to Wilmington: Wilmington March for Science. Although Polera's scientific career is in the water (mainly the Cape Fear River), she is an advocate for sciences of all stripes because of the underlying method they all share. Listen above. 

Vanessa Briceno-Scherzer/Jasper Quartet

The award-winning Philadelphia-based Jasper String Quartet is coming to Wilmington, performing for Chamber Music Wilmington on Sunday, April 23 at Beckwith Recital Hall at 3:00pm. In the morning prior to the performance, the musicians will hold a free String Masterclass at WHQR, 11:00am-12:30pm.

Photo: Maud Kelley

Maud Kelley says she has always loved animals. She grew up on a farm and she now lives and works at Greenlands Farm in the Hamlet of Half Hell, a community in Brunswick County (basically, part of Bolivia). The farm animal sanctuary on Greenlands Farm began in 2011; the program expanded with the non-profit organization created last year: HOOF (Helpers of our Farm). It's directed by Maud, and she is throwing an Art Gala Fundraiser on Saturday, April 22, 6:30pm-8:30pm to support the sanctuary and the educational programs it offers.

Author and scholar Dr. Laura Lunsford is the director of the Swain Center in the Cameron School of Business at UNCW. Lunsford has a background in psychology and human development and her specialty is mentoring. She is a member of the International Mentoring Association; she convinced the Board of the Association to hold its 29th Annual Conference in Wilmington this year. 

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The world of classical music is so vast, even experts like Wilmington Symphony Orchestra conductor Steven Errante stumble upon new pieces all the time. One piece that recently came into Errante's purview is by Cuban composer, conductor, and guitarist, Leo Brouwer (born in 1939 in Havana). The piece is Brouwer's Concerto #3, Elegiaco. Julian Bream (for whom the piece was written) premiered the piece in London in 1986. Errante invited guitarist Justin Hoke to join WSO to perform this piece for the Season Finale concert on Saturday, April 22nd at the Wilson Center. The concert begins at 7:30 and includes Smetena's Moldau and Shostakovich's The Gadfly as well. Here are program notes for the concert.

New Hanover County Arboretum

Valerie DeSanti and Jay Denmark are two Master Gardeners from the New Hanover County Master Gardeners organization. They've been growing seeds and bulbs with other Master Gardeners since the beginning of the year in preparation for the spring Plant Sale at the New Hanover County Arboretum. Complete list of plants, trees, shrubs, herbs, and vegetables is available here. 

Marvel Comics

Pineapple Shaped Lamps, or PSL, is a performance troupe known for comedy-and perhaps oddity; the PSL players are not known for drama or tragedy. But the group is taking on a dramatic (maybe tragic) tale: the rise and fall of comic book artist and author Jack Kirby: King Kirby, onstage at Red Barn Studio Theatre on 3rd Street April 13-30. Jack Kirby created comics for Marvel, then DC, then Marvel again, spanning the late 1950s through the late 1970s. He created or co-created Captain America, The Fantastic Four, The Hulk, X-Men, and more. Listen to Director Blake Howard and actor Bryan Cournoyer talk about the play above. 

Attorney Joan Keston practices Elder Law with offices in Wilmington and Southport She was a legal consultant and business attorney until she had to manage her husband becoming ill her parents' aging. She learned some lessons the hard way and switched her focus to Elder Law. Joan offers free seminars called Life Care Planning, an Integrative Approach to Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Asset Protection.  Listen above to hear Joan talk about misunderstandings, Power of Attorney, and scams directed at the elderly. 

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Dram Tree Shakespeare presents The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare's shortest play--and according to director Kathryn "KC" MacMillan--his funniest comedy for modern audiences. KC is a guest director from Philadelphia; she has set the show in the early 20th century with a Vaudeville theme. Listen to KC give a brief overview of the story and talk about the common roots of Shakespeare and Vaudeville above. 

Zach Hanner

Director Zach Hanner says author Clyde Edgerton was inspired to write the novel Killer Diller by experiences in his own life, including a place where he lived in Durham where a halfway house, a diet center, and a church were all the street where he lived. Theatre Now presents Killer as a play on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:00pm through April 29. 

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The day the Lower Cape Fear Coin Club (LCFCC) visited WHQR, I decided to bring my grandfather's coin collection. It meant a lot to my mom, but frankly, I don't know much about old coins. In striking contrast, these folks know a A LOT about coins. Listen to president Ray Flanigan and members Karen Forest and Jim Savage above. LCFCC's annual Coin Show is this weekend and runs in conjunction with the 70th Annual North Carolina Azalea Festival. 

Todd Berliner is a Professor of Film Studies at UNC-Wilmington. He received his PhD at Berkeley, he's received 2 Fulbright Scholar awards, and he's a Fellow of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image. Berliner is a deep thinker about film, and his new book, Hollywood Aesthetic: Pleasure in American Cinema, is not a typical coffee table book. Still, the topic is film, something accessible to everyone.     

Caroline Butler

Surely you're already suspecting that the Azalea Festival is nigh-whether you've seen it with your eyes or felt it in your sinuses. This weekend is indeed the 70th Annual North Carolina Azalea Festival, and the Azalea Garden Tour kicks off on Friday, April 7th with the Ribbon Cutting and Queen's Garden Party​, complete with Azalea Belles, horse-drawn carriages, the Queen herself, and dozens of cookies. 

Mark Steelman/Thalian Association

As an actor and singer with a belt, Katherine Vernon has admired the character "Rose" (and Ethel Merman, who premiered it) for a long time. She landed the role with Thalian Association, and she can be seen onstage at Thalian Hall through April 9. The play is "Gypsy," the true story of burlesque strip-tease artist, Gypsy Rose Lee ("Louise" as a child). Rose is her mother, and her character has been called the most complex musical theatre role available to women. The musical itself has received high praise; it's based on the memoir Gypsy wrote about growing up with her mother and her more-talented sister, June. Listen to Katherine Vernon talk about the role and the musical above. 

UNCW Theatre Department

Professor Robin Post is directing the upcoming show from UNCW's Theatre Department: the classic 1934 play, The Children's Hour by Lillian Hellman. The play was controversial in the United States and Great Britain in the '30s, and in a way, it still could be controversial in some circles. Robin says the themes are as relevant as ever. 

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The Sea Notes Choral Society is 43 years old this year. According to Vice President and singer Tom Wisniewski, the group is stronger than ever. There are 150 singers on the rolls and a waiting list to join of about 2 years--except for Tenors. These, Tom says, could be pulled off the street to join. The Sea Notes Spring concert, Everything's Coming Up Roses, is Saturday and Sunday, April 1 & 2, at Odell Williamson Auditorium. Both performances are at 3:00pm and free. 

Phil Bruschi

It sounds a lot like Neil Diamonds, but it's Phil Bruschi expressing the feel of Neil.

Phil Bruschi is a musician, singer, vocal stylist, and music educator. He presents Neil Diamond: Singer, Songwriter, a biographical and musical program focused on Diamond's career and music, at the Northeast Library on Sunday, April 2, 2:00pm-4:00pm. The program is free. 

wikicommons

Shaun Mitchell is a published poet and the author of several plays. He also has a strong interest in history-the subject of most of his theatrical work. After Shaun wrote the play I, Constantine, he intended to focus his attention on Emperor Theodosius. That changed when he heard about the 6th century peasant who was an actress and prostitute before her fortunes changed: Empress Theodora. 

Wiliam Neil

Pro Musica, under the artistic direction of Robert Nathanson, presents its 6th concert celebrating new music and works of living composers. On Thursday, March 30 at 7:00pm, composer William Neil will perform with the group at the Cameron Art Museum. Neil will begin the concert by performing short compositions on the piano, followed by the premiere of Neil's Out of Darkness Into Light. The piece will be performed by guitarist Nathanson, Soprano Nancy King, saxophonist Laurent Estoppey, violinist Danijella Zezelj-Gualdi, and contra bassoonist Helena Spencer. Composer William Neil will accompany with digital acoustics. 

Lisa Mastin/Big Dawg Productions

When I walked into Cape Fear Playhouse, I thought I went in through the out door. I could hear birds and insects in the background, breathing live trees surrounded the space, and the entire floor was covered in rustling pine-straw. There was a campfire burning (in the "stage magic" kind of way) in the center of the stage.  The theatre even smelled like the woods. I spoke with Technical Director Scott Davis and Director Steve Vernon about the play this realistic set was created for, The Last Encampment; listen above.

Guest pianist Barbara McKenzie will launch WHQR's new Bach's Lunch series on Friday, March 31st. Whether you're a long time, sophisticated listener or someone looking for a rejuvenating lunch break, you'll enjoy gathering in the WHQR Gallery from Noon-1 to hear Barbara bring the joy and wonder of Bach's keyboard music to life. She'll expose the melodies and mysteries of Bach's G minor English Suite, a series of dances and jigs and share some interesting factoids about the Baroque master. Bring your lunch-we'll have cake and refreshments.

nCino.com

We recently heard from Smart Start of New Hanover County about the First 2000 Days Summit, addressing foundational skills children learn in their first 5 years. Smart Start is now holding the Pledge Breakfast for Children's Champions, its annual fundraiser-Tuesday, March 28 at 7:30am, Hilton Riverside. Executive Director Jane Morrow and Board Member Randy Reeves joined us; listen above. The keynote speaker for the Breakfast this year is Pierre Naudé, CEO of Wilmington banking software company, NCinoThe topic of discussion will be the importance of early childhood development in the current and future workforce, with particular focus on STEAM, which is like STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), but with the addition of Arts. 

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